Honoring some of classical music's most distinguished creators, The Smith Opera House's “Great Composers Birthday Celebration” commences on Saturday, Oct. 25, with pianist Albert Lotto honoring Georges Bizet on the 165th anniversary of his birth.
Bizet (1838 — 1875), was a pianist who became world-famous as an opera composer, most notably of “Carmen.” Lotto's program also includes three etudes by Chopin (from “Opus 10”), Chopin's “Fantasy Impromptu,” Beethoven's “Waldstein Sonata,” Bach's “Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring” as transcribed by Myra Hess, and three works by the great piano virtuoso Franz Liszt: “Vallee d'Obermann,” “Un sospiro,” and his paraphrase of the operatic quartet from Verdi's “Rigoletto.”(Liszt was noted for his sensational transcriptions and paraphrases of operatic and other vocal works).
Albert Lotto, cited by music critic Robert Sherman as “one of our best pianists,” is active internationally as a solo concert performer, orchestral soloist, and ensemble musician. Since winning First Prize in the Montreal International Piano Competition, and the Gold Medal at the Busoni International Piano Competition, he has toured frequently and extensively on four continents.
Lotto was chosen by the Juilliard School to represent the United States Department of State as a cultural ambassador to Japan, Taiwan, the Republic of China, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador and Peru. He simultaneously worked with the Peace Corps as a representative artist and teacher in Honduras. He is a frequent performer in Japan. In addition to solo recitals throughout the country, he records for the National Broadcasting Corporation of Japan (NHK), Columbia Records of Japan, and he has performed with Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, the Metropolitan Orchestra of Tokyo and virtually every major orchestra in Japan. This last summer, Mr. Lotto appeared together with two of Japan's foremost composers, Yoshinao Nakada and Teizo Matsumura in performances of their major works for solo piano and chamber music ensembles.
Based in New York, he frequently appears in major halls in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Montreal.
The performance begins at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets to Albert Lotto's recital are $15 general admission and $7 for students and senior citizens. Reduced rate subscriptions to the entire series are also available – $30 for all three concerts, $14 for students and seniors. Call 315-781-LIVE (5483) or toll-free 866-355-LIVE (5483) for more information or to purchase tickets. The Smith accepts MasterCard, Visa and Discover.
Other concerts in the “Great Composers Birthday Celebration” are Klara Min performing Chopin on Feb. 22 and Francis Heilbut playing Brahms on May 7.
The Smith Opera House is located at 82 Seneca Street in Geneva. The Smith and the “Great Composers Birthday Celebration” are generously supported with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the City of Geneva, the Town of Geneva and by individual contributing members.
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